Cairde Sligo Arts Festival 2018

New Road


New Road

Sat July 15th, 10pm, McGarrigles Upstairs


NEW ROAD Photos © Colin Gillen/

Irish traditional, Appalachian old-time, blues and beyond. In 2013, Leonard Barry brought together a group of extraordinary musicians to join him on his album of the same name. They are: Rick Epping, Seamie O’Dowd and Andy Morrow.

They have since gone on to perform to much critical acclaim in concerts at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections, festivals in France, Belgium and Spain and throughout Ireland.

Between them they have played with so many of Folk and Roots greats, from legendary Irish accordion player Joe Cooley to modern greats such as Christy Moore, from Doc Watson to Pumpkinhead, Dervish, Tim O’Brien, Frankie Gavin, Luka Bloom, The Unwanted to name but a few. This is a mix of musicians that have been to the forefront of folk music for decades.

‘…it’s a declaration of love for music as a way of life’ – Hot Press

‘High octane… virtuoso playing’ – Celtic Music Radio

‘… Superb’ – Niall Toner, RTÉ Radio 1

New Road are:

Leonard Barry (uilleann pipes, whistles) from Kerry and now living in Sligo has been described as a “a master” (Living Tradition). Leonard has released two solo CDs, “Mind the Pipes” (2002) which was named amongst the top recordings of that year in The Irish Times and “New Road” (2013), described as “music as it should be” (fRoots) and “a sweet lyrical gem, 5 stars ” (Sunday Business Post). Named Male Musician of the Year 2015 by The Irish American News, he has toured throughout the world both as a soloist and in other collaborations, recording and performing with leading acts including Luka Bloom, John Spillane, amongst countless others.

Rick Epping (harmonica, concertina, 5-string banjo, jaw harp, vocals) is a legend of the folk music scene. From California, Rick is one of the world’s leading harmonica players: “I’ve never heard better” (Doc Watson). An AllIreland harmonica champion and founding member of Pumpkinhead in the 1970s, Rick went on to record with Andy Irvine, Mick Hanley and others, to recording the CD “Jiggin’ the Blues” (2008) with Frankie Gavin and Tim Edey, to playing with Arcady, Sean Keane and The Unwanted, as well as such musical greats as Joe Cooley and Bill Monroe. Rick worked for many years for the Hohner Company improving harmonica production, including patenting a harmonica design favored by many players, including Stevie Wonder

Andy Morrow (fiddle) from Co. Leitrim is from a family steeped in traditional music and has played the fiddle from the age of eight. In 2005 Andy recorded with Tony O’Connell and Arty McGlynn what is widely regarded as a modern classic in traditional Irish music, receiving rave reviews. He has toured extensively throughout Europe and the USA with various groups, as well as touring Australia as part of the multi-award winning play “Trad”. Andy’s playing has been described as “sweet and majestic, bracing style and fine musicianship” (Hot Press).

Seamie O’Dowd (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, vocals) from Co. Sligo is one of the most loved and respected musicians in Ireland today. Also a member of The Unwanted, Seamie has recorded two solo CDs, “Headful of Echoes” (2006) and “Wood and Iron” (2013), which was named amongst the top recordings of that year by Hot Press. Seamie is a former member of Dervish and plays with Máirtin O’Connor and Cathal Hayden, recording “Crossroads” (2008) and “Going Places” (2012). He regularly performs with Christy Moore, and has performed with The Chieftains, Liam O’Flynn and a host of others. His musicianship is quite astounding and it is stated that his music “achieves art” (Earle Hitchner).